German automaker Volkswagen AG will use Microsoft Azure to provide all future digital services and mobility offerings across its entire fleet.
From 2020, more than five million new Volkswagen-specific brand vehicles per year will be fully connected through cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) offerings provided through Microsoft.
Furthermore, Volkswagen will establish an automotive cloud development office in Washington State close to Microsoft's headquarters.
Together, the two companies will develop the technological basis for a “comprehensive industrial automotive cloud”, allowing Volkswagen to leverage consistent mobility services across its entire portfolio.
“The strategic partnership with Microsoft will turbocharge our digital transformation,” said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. “Volkswagen, as one of the world’s largest automakers, and Microsoft, with its unique technological expertise, are outstandingly well-matched.
“Together, we will play a key role in shaping the future of auto-mobility.”
Automakers have been partnering with consumer technology companies as they increasingly invest in connected cars.
“Volkswagen is harnessing technology to digitally transform and deliver innovative new connected car services to its customers,” added Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
“The world’s leading companies run on Azure, and we are thrilled that Volkswagen has chosen Microsoft. Together we will reimagine the driving experience for people everywhere.”
The agreement comes days after Adobe, Microsoft and SAP unveiled plans to form a data alliance that will make it easier for clients running their applications to get a better overview of the customer.
As reported by Channel Asia, the tech giants announced the Open Data Initiative at Ignite 2018, saying it would help break down information silos that make it hard for businesses to make the most of their customer base.
“The core focus of the Open Data Initiative is to eliminate data silos and enable a single view of the customer, helping companies to better govern their data and support privacy and security initiatives," the three said in a joint statement.
Specifically, the initiative will enhance interoperability and data exchange between their platforms - Adobe Experience Cloud and Adobe Experience Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and SAP C/4HANA and S/4HANA - through a common model, the vendors said.
(Additional reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila - Reuters)